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Rabies in Malaysia (Borneo)

07 Dec 2018

Public health authorities in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo)  have reported a 21 year old man has died of rabies in Kuching. This case brings the total number of fatal cases to 13 since 30 June 2017. In addition, another person is being currently being treated for rabies, which is almost invariably fatal.

Advice for Travellers

Any animal contact in a rabies endemic area poses a potential risk of infection.

  • Rabies is the most dangerous of all infectious diseases. There is no recognised treatment once symptoms begin and with the exception of a tiny number of cases, those who develop symptoms of rabies will die.

  • An effective rabies vaccination is available.

  • All travellers to rabies endemic areas should be aware of the risk of rabies and advised to avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic), particularly dogs and cats.

  • Children are more vulnerable to rabies than adults as they are less likely to comprehend the risk of animal contact, less able to defend themselves from an animal attack and may not report a potential exposure.

  • All travellers to endemic areas should be aware of immediate wound care and advised to seek medical attention immediately if bitten or scratched by an animal.

For further information (including post-exposure advice) see Rabies.